Fritzl, an electrical engineer, had built a series of connected chambers, less than six feet high, behind a concealed door at the house.
The chambers had areas for sleeping, cooking and washing. Investigators said the basement labyrinth even contained a padded cell.
It keeps getting worse. About the children's lives:
[daughter] Elisabeth became pregnant seven times as a result of the incestuous abuse by her father.
Three of the children remained in the dank, cramped cellar with her, never seeing daylight or the outside world.
"It may have just been an empty threat to intimidate his daughter Elisabeth and the children he fathered into not trying to overpower him," [police spokesman] Greiner said.
The technicians "are trying to ascertain whether there really was a mechanism that would allow gas to be pumped in."
As one person who rented a room from the family (!) put it:
One [tenant], interviewed in a German magazine, said she had seen Fritzl carry shopping into the cellar after dark. "Now, I realise why we weren't allowed to rent cellar space," she said.
The Daily Mail quietly broods about what we noticed a few days ago, this agonizing, novelistic problem:
Police are now trying to discover how Fritzl managed to keep his daughter as a sex slave without the apparent knowledge of his 60-year-old wife Rosemarie at the three-storey house...
Amidst the spiraling media frenzy, trying to wrap my mind around this, I keep coming back to the father's storied face: